FORT LEE, Va. -- Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams, Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee commanding general, took part in a hallmark event of Fort Lee's centennial celebration as he helped unveil the official 100 years of sustainment history print "Centuries of Sustaining Freedom" at the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum May 23.
The print by artist Larry Selman depicts sustainment professionals and equipment predating World War I to the present with the quartermaster, adjutant general, finance, medical, ordnance, transportation and logistics military branches and their special place within Fort Lee's history and legacy represented.
"This print is a tribute to sustainment warriors supporting the warfighter at the tip of the spear for more than a century," said Williams.
The painting concept was formulated over a few months. It took considerable time and preparation to make it just right for such a big celebration, the artist noted.
"It's a rather long process and this one was much longer than usual," Selman said. "The contents changed from the beginning and even as it moved through the sketch stages to the final painting. A straight historical scene -- for example the Battle of the Little Big Horn -- would have a lot of known elements and an artist can hone in on a single image. With this picture, however, it was just the opposite, with so many time periods to cover and vehicles to make work. It required a different approach."
Selman traveled to Fort Lee on three occasions to either do research or shoot reference photographs of the Soldiers who had specialized equipment.
"It is always best to have the Soldiers you are painting come, model and explain all the little details of their (Military Occupational Specialty)," he said. "The picture is more convincing because of that interaction."
One aspect of the painting he particularly likes is the WWI Paymaster and Quartermaster Wagon.
"It's an era I like a lot along with Vietnam," Selman noted. "Growing up in the '60s has some bearing on that. Growing up in a military family had some bearing on my career, and as an illustrator the majority of that work was historical."
Selman said he is pleased to be part of the centennial of Fort Lee and work with the Soldiers and staff at CASCOM.
"Creating the picture was a very good experience, and I enjoyed meeting the Soldiers at Fort Lee," he observed. "It is nice to contribute a first (of-its-kind item) for the post and be part of the 100th anniversary celebration. It is a pleasure to have worked with General Williams on this project."
Selman graduated from the York Academy of Art, and his works over a 35-year career include paintings displayed at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C., as well as artwork used on GI Joe classic action figure packages. He has works hanging in the U.S Army War College, the Command and General Staff College, and numerous military bases and museums throughout the United States.
Those who would like to own this piece of Fort Lee and American history can order numbered copies of the print online at www.leemwr.com/sustainmentprint. The cost of the image is $95, and three framing options with various additional costs are available.